Philonica et Neotestamentica

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Greg Sterling on Philo

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“Are the works of Philo important for our understanding of the New Testament and Christian origins? I suggest that they are. In fact, I think that the Philonic corpus is the single most important body of material from Second Temple Judaism for our understanding of the development of Christianity in the first and second centuries. Perhaps this will strike you as an extravagant claim in light of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Josephian corpus. I would not deny the importance of either of these corpuses for the study of the New Testament and Christian origins. I am convinced, however, that the Philonic corpus helps us to understand the dynamics of early Christsianity more adequately than any other corpus. I do not want to suggest that Philo or his corpus was directly responsible for the development of Christian thought, but that his corpus is a window into the world of Second Temple Judaism in the Diaspora that formed the matrix for Christian theology.”

 

Gregory E. Sterling, “‘Philo Has Not Been Used Half Enough’:
The Significance of Philo of Alexandria for the Study of the New Testament,’
in Perspectives in Religious Studies 30.3 (2003):251-269, here p. 252.

 

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